Carl Hooker

[The Pivotal Post] November 2020 Edition

publishedabout 2 years ago
4 min read

Greeting Pivotal Post subscribers!

I hope this newsletter finds you well. We've almost made it to the end of 2020 and hopefully we'll have some brighter news on the horizon as vaccine hopes for coronavirus increase. I know many of you are teaching in a hybrid or remote environment too. It's a lot to manage on a good day, so I hope you all are taking time to take care of yourselves through all of this as well.

In this month's newsletter there are tons of FREE learning opportunities for you:

Election Impact on Education

🤝 FREE Virtual Team-Based Workshop on Creating High-Quality Hybrid, Blended, and Remote Learning Experiences

🎙 UnDisrupted Podcast Season 2 is now live!

🥈 Round 2 of the Remote Learning Thought Leader Think Tank

🎭 Meme of the month

🖥 A Fun Thing to Try on Your Next Zoom Class!

💰 A Special Offer for My Readers

Election Impact on Education

It would be a fool's errand for me to ignore the elephant in the room. I try not to get too political in my posts, but I have to say this election will have an impact on education. No matter which way you lean politically, this election has shown us that more than ever we really need to focus on civics and government with our students. My own kids were very involved in the election outcome as we stayed up late on Tuesday watching the results come in. However, I would say the other thing it has taught us is that digital citizenship is an extremely important thing to teach as well. Our students understand the repercussions of interacting online more so than most adults I would dare say. As we move forward, I'm excited by the prospect of having an educator in the White House in the form of Dr. Jill Biden. As someone who has testified multiple times in support of education here in Texas, it will help to have some leadership at the national level that supports what we are trying to do and hopefully rid our country of the equity gap when it comes to broadband access.

FREE Virtual Team-Based Workshop on Creating High Quality Hybrid, Blended, and Remote Learning Experiences by Future Ready

I love working with the team over at Future Ready Schools. They are an organization that gets education and do their best to provide high quality professional learning for free for everyone. On Thursday, November 19th, I get to team up with my old partner in learning, Brianna Hodges, as we bring you a 5-hour free virtual team-based workshop on Creating High Quality Hybrid, Blended, and Remote Learning Experiences. This workshop will feature conversations from various districts around the country on communication, engagement, assessment, and other problems of practice.

Sign up your team for FREE and join us on the 19th!

UnDisrupted Podcast Season 2 is now live!

Speaking of Future Ready, the UnDisrupted Podcast that I co-host with Dr. Adam Phyall is back for a second season. In this season, Adam and I will tackle some of the equity and racial issues we are facing in schools as we go through a wide range of guests from all over the world. In our opening episode this past week we discuss what it means to be 'woke' and also how labeling students could lead to subconscious stereotypes. Check it out as well as all of Season 1 and be sure to subscribe and give us a 5-star rating on your platform of choice!

Round 2 of the Remote Learning Thought Leader Think Tank

In mid-August, I gathered a group of amazing educators from all around the country as they prepared for a completely volatile fall semester of school. Now it's time to bring them back and figure out what worked and what didn't as well as how we will move going forward. Come check out this FREE thought leader think tank as they share ideas and strategies from their schools going forward at 3:30PM CST on November 17.

Meme of the Month

Nothing embodies this time that we are in more than the fact that there is now a virtual background of the Four Season Total Landscaping, sight of a recent infamous press conference. Not technically a meme, but it seems to hit on just about every thing we've been going through these past few months. (Tip: Don't use the background from the store next to this place)

A Fun Thing to Try on Your Next Zoom Class!

I've spent the last several months trying to figure out ways to gamify learning remotely. I've shared tools like and Crowdpurr in the past, but one of the issues I've run into when it comes to a game show is there is no way to really get players to "buzz" in for their answers. When the great Alex Trebek passed away last week, I was determined to see if I could find something out there that would allow students to remotely buzz in and lock out others until they answered. seems to be just that. It's a simple interface that allows you to create a game and share the code for others to join. (note: free for 8 players so you'd have to have teams for this) Pairing this with Flippity's Quiz Show could be the magic sauce to gamifying your next end of course unit review.

A Special Offer for My Readers

I want to thank those of you that have signed up for my course The Remote Learning Coach! With the introductory offer now expired, I created a special code for my readers that will still grant you 20% off the price. As a reminder, this self-paced course is 30 CEU hours of content designed to assist teachers with remote or hybrid/hyflex teaching. In order to get the 20% off, use the coupon code NEWS2020 when you go to the check-out page.

Please feel free to share this course with any other schools or districts you might find in need and thank you as always for supporting my work!

As always,

Stay safe and stay sane my friends,